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Hong Kong Stock Market Predicted To Halt Slide

The Hong Kong stock market has moved lower in consecutive trading days, tumbling almost 600 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 27,900-point plateau although it's predicted to find traction on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to surging oil prices and optimism for the outlook on global trade. The European and U.S. markets finished in the green and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the casinos, financials, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index plummeted 531.21 points or 1.87 percent to finish at 27,900.84 after trading between 27,845.87 and 28,256.69.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies plummeted 5.31 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment plunged 4.70 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical tumbled 3.95 percent, Sands China skidded 3.74 percent, China Life Insurance dropped 2.58 percent, China Resources Land retreated 1.51 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China declined 2.35 percent, Tencent Holdings contracted 2.34 percent, AIA Group gave away 2.14 percent, Ping An Insurance shed 2.11 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) lost 1.96 percent, WH Group jumped 1.37 percent, CNOOC fell 1.34 percent, BOC Hong Kong slid 1.29 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas dipped 1.13 percent, New World Development eased 0.63 percent and China Mobile was down 0.12 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Friday as the major averages ended at multi-month closing highs.

The Dow jumped 443.86 points or 1.74 percent to 25,883.25, the NASDAQ added 45.46 points or 0.61 percent to 7,472.41 and the S&P 500 gained 29.87 points or 1.09 percent to 2,775.60. For the week, the Dow spiked 3.1 percent, the NASDAQ climbed 2.4 percent and the S&P rose 2.5 percent.

The strength on Wall Street came amid continued optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China. A statement from the White House said high level U.S.-China trade talks this week led to progress between the two parties.

In economic news, the University of Michigan noted a bigger than expected rebound in consumer sentiment in February. Also, the Federal Reserve reported an unexpected decrease in industrial production in January.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, lifted by data showing declines in crude output from OPEC. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.18 or 2.2 percent at $55.59 a barrel, a three-month high.

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